Child custody and child visitation, at least in the state of Florida, are no longer, for the most part, ordered under the term “custody.” It is only when such circumstances as a parent is too ill mentally or physically to care for a minor child, a parent is in jail or has a conviction of child abuse or domestic violence, or extreme debilitating issues exist such as drug or alcohol abuse, abandonment or proven parental neglect that custody is given to one parent or a court-appointed guardian. In essence, these situations could be considered the worst case of court-ordered care for a minor child. However, most parents will entertain the Florida plan for nurturing and caring for a minor child, which is termed parental timesharing.
Parental timesharing coupled with a mandatory parenting plan allows each parent to spend as close to equal time with their minor child as possible. It also allows for all major decisions regarding the minor child to be discussed and decided upon by both parents. Decision-making in matters of education, medical, religious, and discipline are included in the shared decision-making. Florida Family Law Courts have the motto “in the best interest of the child” and so believe a minor child’s growth and development are best served by the love and care of both parents on an equal footing.
The above being said, there are, of course, many times when a parent will not adhere to a court-ordered shared parenting and parenting plan. In the worst case, a parent will refuse to follow the ordered instructions and simply take matters into his or her own hands. Sometimes, too, a parent will try to make-up accusations against the other parent, such as child abuse or neglect. If this happens, the couple must return to court to prove the accusations before any previous court order will be changed. This return to court is termed a modification and usually requires an attorney to complete the action. Unless a child is obviously abused by a parent, the original order must be abided by. Emergency court hearings are available for extreme cases of abuse or neglect.
On the best side of the shared parenting plan for minor children, there are several positive outcomes possible. These outcomes can include the child enjoying being with each parent and benefitting from what each parent has to offer. While it is difficult at first for a child to spend half a week and every other weekend in a different location, most children quickly adjust. Many of their friends will be doing the same thing as the divorce rate in the US is near 50%, so a child will not be made fun of or feel alone in their situation. There is definitely one perk most children enjoy, and that is two birthday parties, two Christmases, and two of most holidays and vacations.
When both parents get along and follow their shared parenting and parenting plan order, all will benefit. It is true, however, that the younger the child, the easier it is to learn to live in two households. Teenagers may be very attached to one parent or the other and find it very difficult to embrace shared parenting. Raising children is never easy, and a broken home increases the likelihood of problems. Working together in love is the key, the key to a healthy life for all physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Keywords: Child custody lawyer palm beach gardens, Divorce attorney, Bankruptcy
By: Grant G
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